So, last weekend I was in Dumfries for my sister’s wedding, and I have bookended my big weekend with even more editing work on novel 2, hence the lack of a proper writing related blog. But stick with me here and you’ll find some tenuous links to the writing life a little further down!

Friday night I was in a mad bed and breakfast with various members of my extended family. The rooms in this guesthouse were crazy like I’ve never seen before, so I picked up my camera and went wandering round. The groom’s brother and best man, Gary, had, by far, the maddest room I’ve ever seen. Done out like a cabin aboard a storybook ship, this room had a low, panelled ceiling, was dark and dingy to the extreme, had porthole mirrors on the wall, and at the foot of the bed was a full sized, moving ship’s wheel!

The place was packed with stuff. Outside my room, just standing on the landing, was a piano, and the ceiling in the breakfast room was strung with disco balls. But my favourite thing of all was a drum with a verse written on it, which was hanging above the door to one of the rooms. I wondered briefly if, amongst all the clutter, they would miss one little drum… but decided someone might notice me shinning up there to get it.

drum

May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand

I’m told it’s an Irish blessing.

Before I headed to the castle for my sister’s wedding on Saturday morning I managed to fit in a quick visit to Robbie Burns’s house in Dumfries. It was pee-ing it down on Saturday and there were, like, not many people bothering with Burns’s house, which is a real shame. For a start it’s free to get in and the bloke who was running the show was very enthusiastic about Robbie. It’s a tiny little house with all the original furniture in it, including, quite overwhelmingly for me, Robbie’s writing desk. Upstairs in what was his (tiny) study is the actual desk. I know, I’m getting far too excited about this! You couldn’t fit much else except the desk in there, just the desk and me, which is good as I wanted to be alone with the desk… The other thing that got to me is the window pane in the bedroom where you can see Robbie’s signature that he scratched into the glass with his diamond ring.

About half an hour’s drive out of Dumfries, still pishing it down, made it to the castle. My sister, Dani, had a beautiful wedding. She looked amazing and the setting was stunning. The castle was full of men in kilts, which is ALWAYS a good thing. The piper had a Mohican and facial piercings (maybe others, I don’t know) and the ceremony took place in the keep which, apparently, is where the castle’s resident ghost threw herself from when she committed suicide in order to escape a loveless marriage….
…. You may have heard me complain about having to wear high heeled shoes for this wedding. As a bridesmaid it was my duty… but it wasn’t so bad and I even managed to sneak down into the dungeons in them while the happy couple had some photos taken on their own. The dungeon was pretty awesome actually. The first room had a window, rusty shackles on the wall and a nice head vice on the widow sill. The second room was almost too dark to see anything in, but certainly housed an iron maiden. Apparently this is where the English used to go… and, no, not by choice.

Then we did a lot of eating and drinking, I proof read the best man’s speech, which was perfect in every way and needed none of my red ink, and we did some complicated and disastrous traditional dances…. but not before I heard a little more from Robbie. And so I give Mr Burns the last word. At dinner we were told to bow our heads for grace, and a rough bloke in a kilt standing by the door (and right behind my ear’ole) belted out

Some hae meat and canna eat, and some would eat that want it; But we hae meat, and we can eat, sae let the Lord be thankit.

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